Photo Journal

In Spring of 2012, two students wrote a proposal to the Green Action Fund for materials for the student garden at the Heller Center.

A little bit of history...


2010: The student garden was started by the Students for Environmental Awareness and Sustainability (SEAS) from the ground up.

2011: The garden was growing, as depicted above. However much more could be done with the proper tools.

Spring, 2012: Sean and Judith recognized the need to acquire more materials to allow the garden to flourish. These materials would include a number of items in dire need for the garden, such as hoses, a wheelbarrow, trowels and gloves for volunteers, deer netting, tomato cages, and other small knick-knacks for further supporting the raised beds. Additionally, two new fruit trees were requested to add to the garden.

March, 2012: The grant was approved! 


Spring time came into full swing, and student groups and volunteers helped plant and tend the garden.


Summer, 2012: The garden thrived due to diligent care and energy committed by students. Dozens of students from Geography and Environmental Studies, Nutrition and Health Sciences helped plant, maintain and harvest the produce. The tools and materials helped ensure the garden got the proper care it needed.



July, 2012: The great success of the garden and efforts of the students involved led to the first on-campus Farmer's Market! Yawn Valley Garden offered the farmer's market a wide array of produce for students to take home, from herbs to vegetables to flowers.

On the official naming of the student garden at the Heller Center, here is a message from the SEAS advisor:

"The Hellers referred to their place as "Yawn Valley". In recognition of their incredible gift to our campus, the students chose "Yawn Valley Garden" as the name for the UCCS student garden located on the beautiful Heller property."


In addition to running and maintaining Yawn Valley Garden, the proposers committed to further engaging students and the community by hosting a series of on-site educational workshops.

These workshops welcomed students and community members to the Heller Student for engaging lessons on gardening design and permaculture.

Here a student waters an herb spiral garden, where herbs needing the most water are at the bottom and needing the least at the top. Students had the opportunity to build this garden and got to learn the theory and history of behind it's design. Students learned how beneficial herb gardens are in reducing water usage and growing numerous herb plants right outside their back door.


Here students and community members learn to collect native seed. They learned how to detect whether the seed is ready to be picked, how to properly store the seed for the following season and how to identify native plants. These lessons can be used for gardeners looking to save seed for the following season as well as individuals looking to spread native seed for landscape restoration.

For now, the garden has been put to rest until spring comes around. Stay tuned for future developments! 

Want to get involved? Great! Here are some contacts:

SEAS club:          Website:         

SEAS advisor, Carole Huber:

Garden intern, permaculturist and Master Gardener, Judith Rice-Jones:

Local Food and Nutrition Club, Sean Svette: